Another woman falls victim | Inquirer Opinion

Another woman falls victim

/ 10:52 PM March 25, 2013

We denounce the killing of Cristina Jose, the latest victim of extrajudicial killing under the Aquino administration. Jose was one of the leaders of Barug Katawhan (People Stand Up), an organization of Typhoon “Pablo” victims in Davao Oriental, that led a protest action at the Department of Social Welfare and Development office in Davao City. Jose was killed by three men who were aboard a motorcycle, four days before the world commemorated International Women’s Day last March 8.

Jose is the first woman victim of extrajudicial killing documented by Karapatan this year, and the 18th, including four minors, since President Aquino took office in 2010.

What happened to Jose is part of the Aquino administration’s nonstop victimization of the people. It seems that the government will not stop until all those who are opposed to its antipeople acts are dead.

Jose, also a Bayan Muna member and barangay kagawad (village councilor) of Barangay Binondo, Bagangga, Davao Oriental, was shot on the left side of her back. The bullet exited through her right breast. Members of the 67th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (Ibpa) deployed in the area branded Jose as “kagawad ng mga NPA” (councilor of the New People’s Army). Before she was killed, she received death threats. Prior to the killing, in January 2013, the 67th Ibpa conducted military operations in Jose’s community, after which Jose helped human rights teams of Karapatan to investigate the reported cases of harassment against residents/civilians.

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The people in Davao Oriental are victims of the government’s pro-foreign business policy, neglect and incompetence. The government has opened up our country’s resources to big foreign businesses, such as mining and agribusiness, a move that has made poor communities vulnerable to disasters such as the supertyphoon Pablo, which washed out the people’s already insufficient sources of income.

The government’s callousness to the people’s situation is also manifested in the way the DSWD has deprived typhoon victims of their supply of relief goods, even as some of its officials are profiting from overpriced projects such as the bunkhouses for the victims. When people demand food, they get killed.

Women human rights defenders are also being jailed because of trumped-up charges. There are currently 33 women political prisoners in government jails. These women are mostly those who exercised their right to get involved in political and socioeconomic struggles of the people. Yet, the government sees them as enemies and they often become victims of human rights violations.

If President Aquino thinks people will be pacified through intensified state terror, he is mistaken. More women will assert their rights and demand justice.

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—KIRI DALENA,

convenor, Tanggol Bayi,

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TAGS: DSWD, Extrajudicial Killing, Government, justice, Rights

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